Q-Racing Blog

It's March, It's Convention Time!

Quarter Racing Journal

It's March, It's Convention Time!

If it’s March, it must be time for the AQHA Convention.

This year’s get together is in San Antonio at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on March 17-20.

Even if you have never attended an AQHA Convention and aren’t on any committee, you should attend. It is the best way to learn who the “players” are in the American Quarter Horse business and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. They want to know you and your opinions. We all want is best for the American Quarter Horse.

Here’s how the process goes for rule changes.

First, someone has an idea for a rule change and emails the idea to AQHA by December 31 of the year before the convention.

Second, at the convention, the appropriate committee considers the meritorious proposals. Similar proposals may be combined. If you submitted the change, be sure to attend that committee meeting.

Third, committee approved ideas go to the board of directors and then they are forwarded to the AQHA Executive Committee. The executive committee approves or denies them and if approved they go into effect. (The racing committee also presents a report to the racing council.)

There is one important exception. Rule changes on bylaws or registration come out of committee to the board of directors. Approved ideas go into the AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations for the next year, if necessary.

The AQHA always welcomes new people with fresh ideas. Everyone should try to meet the executive committee members and directors. Again, they welcome your input. AQHA is the world’s largest horse breed registry, however it is accessible. It is all about what is best for the Quarter Horse and the members. The executive committee members and directors understand these priorities.

The primary AQHA staff person for racing is chief racing officer Janet VanBebber. She is truly dedicated to racing and trained two-time world champion Tailor Fit. This will be her first convention in her current position.

“I am excited about the AQHA Convention, said VanBebber. “During our Racing Conference, held last October at Los Alamitos, the racing department sought the help of the membership to become proactive in defining a positive future for our industry.

“Since that time, people have stepped up and become involved in subcommittees for the Challenge, marketing, next generation initiative, Hispanic initiative and more.

“I appreciate the response to our request for help. We hope to build on that foundation in San Antonio. In addition to addressing these issues, the racing committee meeting includes guest speakers Dionne Benson from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and Patti Strand from the National Animal Interest Alliance. Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting and the full agenda can be seen online.

“I, personally, along with everyone at AQHA, encourage you to attend and learn what the American Quarter Horse Association is doing in our efforts to better the industry across all racing jurisdictions, protect our horse's welfare and maintain the highest level of integrity. If you love Quarter Horse racing, we need your voice in these pursuits.”

There are important issues that will be addressed. Express yourself and learn from your peers. It starts with you.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.